The Protectors: Melissa Dickenson Saturday, May 16 at the Gspot

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23rd Annual Critic’s Residency at Maryland [...]

The Protectors: Precious Nature by Melissa Dickenson

Opening Reception: Saturday, May 16, 2009 from 7-10 p.m.

Gspot Audio Visual Playground
2980 Lower Falls Road
Baltimore, MD 21211
For more information contact: [email protected] or visit

Our intellectual and material literacy are dependent on paper. This material has rescued our hereditary knowledge from the destructive hand of time many times in the past. Paper is a direct reflection of our environment and it’s diminishing state, it is also one of the most important forms of communication. Therefore it is appropriate that paper, which has patiently served mankind’s progress, should speak about itself, its past, and its future.

The ‘Protectors’ is a series of paintings on hand-cut paper fused with acrylic substrates. They are a use of handmade paper and organic imagery, in partnership with vivid pigment and acrylic plastics. The dialogue created is that of struggle between two worlds, one where the laws of nature make sense and the other, a place in which these laws do not apply. The environment has historically shielded animal and plant, and, animal and plant have evolved to help the environment flourish symbiotically. This is in question as the images presented suggest the protection and stability of all three (land, animal and plant) from a third artificial source. The addition of acrylic plastic to each piece is used to support the fragility of the paper as it seemingly floats in an ambiguous space. The idea I mean to propose is that the land today is now incapable of protecting nature on its own and visa versa. The handmade, hand-cut paper mirrors a diminishing natural world and the use of acrylic plastic speaks of the faux materials derived to replace the resources we have used up. The landscapes created are seemingly happy and nice, but looking closer the darker side of our cyber world is revealed as animals and plants interact with their terrain.

– Melissa Dickenson, 2009

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